Sunday, 04 April 2010


Ken Berwitz

This is for anyone who wonders what kind of mindset would give broadcast time to people like keith olbermann, ed schultz, etc.

It comes to us from Mark Finkelstein at

Easter, MSNBC-Style: Network's Facebook Page Features Crucifix Juxtaposed With Man Hooded in White


By Mark Finkelstein (Bio | Archive)
Sun, 04/04/2010 - 08:55 ET

Of Of all the images to accompany its Facebook feature on "Easter observances and celebrations from around the world," MSNBC chose the one displayed here.  As it turns out, the man hooded in white is not a Klansman, but a participant in a traditional Easter procession in northern Spain.  But how many readers will click through all the images to discover that? How many more will assume, as I did until informed otherwise, that it was a Klansman? H/t reader Michael G.

Easy to imagine some wag at MSNBC thinking this was an amusing way to go. 

 In the meantime, I wish a joyous Easter to all NewsBusters readers observing the day.  

Still wondering?


Ken Berwitz

Question:  How do you put an entire group of people to sleep, without hypnosis or Ambien?

Answer:  From Ann Kornblut at the Washington Post.  The bold print is mine:

Obama's 17-minute, 2,500-word response to woman's claim of being 'over-taxed'

by Anne E. Kornblut

Toward the end of a question-and-answer session with workers at an advanced battery technology manufacturer, a woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a "wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care" package.

"We are over-taxed as it is," Doris said bluntly.

Obama started out feisty. "Well, let's talk about that, because this is an area where there's been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I'm going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have," the president said.

He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer - more than 2,500 words long -- wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, "F-Map"). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as "FICA").

Always fond of lists, Obama ticked off his approach to health care -- twice. "Number one is that we are the only -- we have been, up until last week, the only advanced country that allows 50 million of its citizens to not have any health insurance," he said.

A few minutes later he got to the next point, which seemed awfully similar to the first. "Number two, you don't know who might end up being in that situation," he said, then carried on explaining further still.

"Point number three is that the way insurance companies have been operating, even if you've got health insurance you don't always know what you got, because what has been increasingly the practice is that if you're not lucky enough to work for a big company that is a big pool, that essentially is almost a self-insurer, then what's happening is, is you're going out on the marketplace, you may be buying insurance, you think you're covered, but then when you get sick they decide to drop the insurance right when you need it," Obama continued, winding on with the answer.

Halfway through, an audience member on the riser yawned.

But Obama wasn't finished. He had a "final point," before starting again with another list -- of three points.

"What we said is, number one, we'll have the basic principle that everybody gets coverage," he said, before launching into the next two points, for a grand total of seven.

His wandering approach might not matter if Obama weren't being billed as the chief salesman of the health-care overhaul. Public opinion on the bill remains divided, and Democratic officials are planning to send Obama into the country to persuade wary citizens that it will work for them in the long run.

It was not evident that he changed any minds at Friday's event. The audience sat politely, but people in the back of the room began to wander off.

Even Obama seemed to recognize that he had gone on too long. He apologized -- in keeping with the spirit of the moment, not once, but twice. "Boy, that was a long answer. I'm sorry," he said, drawing nervous laughter that sounded somewhat like relief as he wrapped up.

But, he said: "I hope I answered your question."

Apart from putting an audience to sleep by giving a campaign speech instead of an answer, please note Mr. Obama's claim that 50 million people are uninsured.  For the past several months he had been claiming there were 30 million uninsured. 

But, in fairness, since the number is pulled out of thin air, and other members of the administration have said it was as much as 50 million, why not use the upper end.  Yeah, that will be sure to impress whoever is still awake.

In fairness, though, this is Barack Obama doing what Barack Obama does best:  talking forever, making up "facts" as he goes along, and hoping his personal charm will mesmerize people into being interested in the talk-a-thon and accepting of the made-up "facts".

My feeling is that, if we can figure out a way to materialize 20 million extra uninsured people, surely we can figure out a way to move the 2012 elections up in time.  Can't we? 


Zeke .... .... Obama is a narcissist .... loves the sound of his own voice. ... ... Crazy Eddie needs a pitch man like him ... ... (04/04/10)


Ken Berwitz

Let me teach you a yiddish word.  It is "shvach" (with the "ch" pronounced as it is in "ach du lieber"

Shvach means weak, attenuated, disappointing and/or of little value compared to what it should be.

Sadly, that is a pretty good definition of what passes for Jewish "leadership" in the United States.

From Paul Mirengoff of

You can fool most American Jewish leaders nearly all of the time. . .

April 3, 2010 Posted by Paul at 11:30 PM


The Jerusalem Post reports that Dan Shapiro, the U.S. National Security Council's top Middle East adviser, conducted a conference call with American Jewish leaders on Friday to reassure them about the White House's intentions towards Israel. In what I take to be his only honest utterance. Shapiro said that a "resolution" of the episode is close. The resolution, I assume, will be concessions by Netanyahu.


The rest of Shapiro's reported remarks are so ridiculous that even the American Jewish leaders apparently weren't buying them. For example, Shapiro blamed the "fog of press reports" for the perception that the meeting was negative. Several Jewish leaders later rejected this claim out-of-hand.


In fact, the press reports ultimately weren't all that foggy, in spite of Obama's decision to subject Netanyahu's visit to a news black-out. The press reported that Obama chastised Netanyahu, kept him waiting while he went off to dine, and presented him with a list of demands that extended well beyond the issue of East Jersualem that served as the pretext for the whole exercise. Nothing in the Jerusalem Post's report suggests that Shapiro denied any of this.


Shapiro also told the Jewish leaders that Obama has been as demanding of the Palestinian side as he has been of the Israelis. But what demand has he made of the PA that compares to his demand that Israel not build housing in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem?


Apparently the Jewish leaders wondered about this too. Reportedly one of them asked Shapiro for a compendium detailing American censure of the two sides so that the administration's claim of even-handedness can be evaluated. Certainly, I've seen no indication of any meeting between Obama and the PA leadership that remotely resembles the hatefest to which the American president treated the Israeli Prime Minister.


Unfortunately, according to one participant in the conference, the Jewish leaders did not push back very much while the call was taking place. Then again, it's far from clear that Netanyahu himself is going to push back.

Long time readers of this blog may remember my outrage during the presidential campaign when the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations held a pro-Israel rally, and Hillary Clinton refused to attend if Sarah Palin did. 

Instead of chastising the prima donna, Lady Clinton, for putting politics and ego above support for Israel, the organization instead un-invited Palin - whose speech (it was made public) had not one word of domestic politics in it, just strong support for Israel.

At that time I declared that these "leaders" were more liberal Democrats than they were Jews, and stated I would never give another penny to any of their organizations - which I have held to ever since.

This story from Paul (and I hope you click on the Jerusalem Post link as well) reconfirms how right I was about this.  And how shvach they really are.


Ken Berwitz

Most people would think that Amnesty International - and Human Rights Watch - are about 180 removed from terrorism. 

But are they really?

From Andy McCarthy, writing for

Amnesty International Comes Out of the Closet Endorses "Defensive" Jihad   [Andy McCarthy]

Former Gitmo detainee Moazzam Begg is a committed jihadist and unabashed supporter of the Taliban. (See this Weekly Standard essay by Tom Joscelyn, which collects other Begg links.) In the fashion of CAIR a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood formed to support its causes, such as Hamas, in the camouflage of a "civil rights" organization Begg shrewdly realized he could win fawning admirers and allies on the Left by posing as a human rights activist. So he formed a group in Britain, Cageprisoners, which claims to be a civil rights organization whle promoting the Islamist agenda and aligning with such other anti-American jihadist terrorists as would-be Christmas bomber Umar Abdulmutallab and Anwar al-Awlaki (an imam to some of the 9/11 hijackers and an inspiration to both Abdulmutallab and Fort Hood mass-murderer Nidal Hasan).

As Tom details, the disconnect between terror- and sharia-promotion, on the one hand, and civil rights, on the other, has weighed heavily on some authentic civil rights activists. After complaining for a couple of years to no avail about Amnesty International's support for Begg, Gita Sahgal (head of AI's "gender unit") finally went public, pointing out that to be appearing on platforms with Britains most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment.  For her trouble, Sahgal was reprimanded by AI and ultimately suspended. AI's treatment of Sahgal prompted a "Global Petition" by some international human rights supporters, protesting AI's action (in conjunction with all the usual grousing about the evils of the United States).

In response to the petition, AI Secretary-General Claudio Cordone has issued a letter in vigorous defense of AI's collaboration with Begg and Cageprisoners. Steve Emerson's Investigative Project on Terrorism has the story, here. In the letter, Cordone states AI's position outright: advocacy of "jihad in self defence" is not antithetical to human rights. That Islamists reserve unto themselves the right to determine when Islam is, as they put it, "under siege," and when, therefore, forcible jihad is justified, is plainly of no concern  only actions America's self-defense are worthy of condemnation.

This has long been obvious when it comes to such Leftist bastions as AI and Human Rights Watch. AI has now made the obvious explicit.

I urge you to read the links McCarthy has supplied.  See for yourself how far down the tubes these supposedly pacifist groups have traveled.  And remember what you've read when they issue their "neutral" reports. 

There's an old saying about taking information from some sources with a grain of salt.  In this case, how about an entire shakerful?

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